Recently stabilised by
English Heritage to allow
safe visitor access, the vast unique 17th century malting
cellars are available for public viewing during mid April to mid
October every Sunday from 10am to 2pm. NOTE: Closed during August.
The cellars extend beneath The Malthouse and its gardens.
The present building and cellars, parts of which date back to c1680 appear to have been constructed from an open stone quarry that was vaulted over in brick to form the cellars making a large dry area for storage, steeping and malting barley. Inside the cellars the temperature is fairly constant all year round.
In the mid 19th century Charles Smith and his family lived at The
Malthouse and operated a business from the cellars malting barley.
The malt was then sold to local Public Houses and Inns for the
brewing of beer and ales. Accounts from 1837 have been found showing
deliveries of malt to Great Gate, Alton Park, Wooton Hall and Alton
Towers. Records from 1841 show Charles and his nephews,
occupation as 'maltsters'. The family also made a living as land surveyors
mapping enclosures and tithe awards in this part of Staffordshire.